On Saturday, San Diego State claimed the Mountain West championship for the 19th time in school history, parading to a 42-28 victory. The Aztecs entered Saturday’s action on a red-hot six-game winning streak in hopes of capturing the Mountain West Conference championship. The Aztecs took their talents to Wyoming to square off on arguably one of the most important games in school history.
The Wyoming Cowboys entered Saturday’s game with a 3-4 record, sixth in the MWC. The Cowboys made for an interesting battle against the Aztecs, but SDSU proved to be too much.
The game got off to a very sloppy start, as both teams combined for a total of three turnovers in the first quarter alone. On the first play of the game Aztec junior wide receiver Colin Lockett coughed up the football and created an opportunity for the SDSU defense to make a play. Fortunately for the Aztecs, stud line-backer sophomore Derek Largent forced a fumble on the Cowboys, giving the ball right back to the Aztecs.
In the middle of the first quarter, sophomore running back Adam Muema punched the ball into the end zone from six yards out to break the 0-0 seal and gave the Aztecs a 7-0 lead. This was SDSU’s 20th straight game with a rushing touch- down, a new school record.
Later in the quarter, Muema fumbled the football. This resulted in points for Wyoming, as Cowboy sophomore quarterback Brett Smith scampered into the end zone on a fourth down to tie the game at seven a piece at the end of the first quarter.
During the first half, SDSU’s sloppy play continued as the Aztecs accounted for five penalty flags. Ear- ly in the second quarter, Wyoming took advantage of SDSU mistakes as Smith scored his second rushing touchdown of the day, giving the Cowboys a 14-7 lead.
On the ensuing possession, the Aztecs marched down the field and went for it on fourth down. Sophomore quarterback Adam Dingwell faked the play action and found his primary target junior tight end Gavin Escobar with an 11-yard touchdown pass that tied the game at 14.
Immediately after, the Cowboys answered back with a long score of their own to take the 21-14 lead in the second quarter.
As a shootout began to brew in Wyoming, SDSU turned to its primary offensive weapons. Dingwell connected with Escobar and senior wide receiver Brice Butler numerous times on the following possession. This drive was capped off by a two-yard touchdown run by Muema to tie the game at 21 late in the second quarter.
“I was just trying my hardest to get into the zone,” Muema said to The Associated Press. “The line did what they had to do and I did what I had to do.”
As scoring in the first half was not enough, the Cowboys stunned the Aztec defense on a last second score to go into the half leading 28-21.
The Aztec defense came out strong against the Cowboys in the second half. After a stop on defense, the Aztec offense received the ball again with a chance to tie the game. With their backs against the wall, who other than Muema to tie the game for the Aztecs with a 34-yard touchdown run? Early in the third quarter the game was tied again at 28.
Soon after, Dingwell led his team down the field and targeted sophomore tight end Adam Roberts, who caught the six-yard touchdown pass that put the Aztecs up seven points late in the third quarter.
The SDSU defense remained solid throughout the second half, as it blanketed the Wyoming’s offense. Muema sealed the deal with an 82-yard touchdown run, giving him his fourth touchdown of the day. He finished with a whopping 255 yards on the ground and four scores.
The Aztecs paraded to a 42- 28 victory and returned home with a MW title. It has been an outstanding season for the SDSU football team and things are only looking brighter for the future. However, business is not yet finished, as the team looks on toward its bowl game opponent.
“Anytime you win a conference championship, especially when it’s been so long since San Diego State has won one, and they’ve never won a Mountain West Conference one and been in the league a long time, that makes it pretty sweet,” SDSU head coach Rocky Long said to the AP.